EGU Blogs


The rise of open research data

This was originally posted at:

As a junior researcher in the UK, it has given me great pleasure over the last few years to see the dramatic development of open access publishing. Most major research funders in the UK now require public access to published research articles in one form or another, and many other research intensive nations across the globe are following suit.

Along with this global increase in public access to papers, there has been a gear shift in demand for the availability of additional outputs of research, including code, videos, software, and raw data. One of the most recent steps in increasing access to these outputs has been the RECODE project for researchers in the EU, which seeks to develop an open data ecosystem through shifting research practices. With progress being made in the USA too, the wheels are truly in motion towards a global shift towards open access to all research outputs.

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The Open Research Glossary round 2

A few months ago, we published the crowd-sourced Open Research Glossary, details of which can be found here. We’ve taken this to the next level now, and published the updated and much prettier version of this resource on Figshare. This means it is now openly licensed for re-use, and can also be cited like any normal research article. We also popped it on Zenodo, because why not!

The original document can be edited here, and remains an open crowd-sourced initiative, which means anyone can add or change anything they want. We strongly encourage the academic community to contribute to and broadly share this resource, so that we can all be a little bit more informed about the vastly complex topic of ‘Open Scholarship’.

This latest change was thanks to the hard work of Joe McArthur of the Right to Research Coalition, who have been kind enough not only to assist with formatting and the generation of an xml version of this document (pending), but also hosting the resource on their website.

If anyone has any questions, comments, or suggestions, then I’d love to hear them! In the mean time, I hope you find this useful. Thanks again to everyone who has contributed to or shared this work.

OpenCon 2015 Applications are Open!

See this post about Open Con 2014 for more information

Applications to attend OpenCon 2015 on November 14-16 in Brussels, Belgium are now open! The application is available on the OpenCon website at and includes the opportunity to apply for a travel scholarship to cover the cost of travel and accommodations. Applications will close on June 22nd at 11:59pm PDT.

OpenCon seeks to bring together the most capable, motivated students and early career academic professionals from around the world to advance Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data—regardless of their ability to cover travel costs.  In 2014, more than 80% of attendees received support.  Due to this, attendance at OpenCon is by application only.

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Palaeontology in the 21st Century

Palaeontology is the study of the history of life on Earth. Whenever I get asked what I do, my answer always gets a predictable response: either “Oh, like Ross from Friends?” “So Jurassic Park?” or “So you dig dinosaurs?”

Neither of these are close to what myself, my colleagues, or the broader field are doing. Well, apart from the digging dinos. We have to have some perks (not that I’ve actually ever been on a dig…).

What I want to highlight are a couple of recent developments in the field that show that palaeontology is just as technically advanced as any other major domain of science out there. They both involve the genesis and analysis of large data sets that we’re constantly using to test large-scale patterns and processes through time – known as macroevolution. Trying to decipher the patterns and processes of evolution leading towards the modern, extant fauna we have today is key in predicting their future as we destroy the planet.

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